Publisher Profile
CES

2010 CES Coverage 18

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Lamm/ Wilson

Lamm was showing their ML3 Signature amps and LL1 Signature line stage on Wilson MAXX 3 loudspeakers with the Redpoint “Solo Voce” turntable. This room was not taking music playback requests and was not playing at particularly challenging levels. The sound had a spacious stage and solid vocal production. I felt there was a lack of driver integration and tried several listening positions but something was missing. There are some systems that are more than the sum of their parts while here it sounded as though the parts were more than their sum.

PBN/Edge

PBN was showing in three sections of the ground floor of the Flamingo. Two dedicated to audio while the third was an impressive home theatre demonstration. I particularly enjoyed the Sammy speakers ($29,500 pair) with PBN’s power amplifiers. The rooms were massive and busy and didn’t allow for the best of auditions. Still, I enjoyed listening to their speakers despite the conditions, and sometimes that in itself is high praise. They had a strong, tight bass response that was believable and an open non-fatiguing sound. The Edge / PBN room was not quite as good in this department sounding a little bright to my ears – but their listening room was pretty horrible compared to most every other room at The Show.

Sammy Speakers with PBN’s Olympian American Flag amplifiers

PBN Audio GrooveMaster turntable ($10,000), Jelco SA750D tonearm, ZYX Airy II cartridge ($3,295)

PBN Montana ESP2 speakers ($10,000/pair)

EDGE Signature 1.2 400wpc/8Ω ($42,388)

PBN home theater

Silbatone Acoustics

South Korea’s Silbatone Acoustics displayed these wonderful full-range single-driver loudspeakers called the Aporia (~$30,000 but not positive). The single driver is a flat-cone Manger driver horn loaded with a claimed response of 35Hz – 35,000kHz and rather modest, for a horn, 93dB sensitivity. Silbatone brought a wonderful 300B 8wpc tube integrated amplifier (Price mentioned to me was $40,000) with Scarlatti handling the digital front-end. During my session, I auditioned their work in progress turntable. Fantastic vocals and reach-out-and-touch kind of presence. The sound here was free of noise or discontinuity of any kind. Big horn dynamics without the wonky or shouty characteristics and nice bottom-end drive. Despite the weird looks and Mercedes-Benz influence, there was nothing I could really grumble about with the sonics. I sat and was simply swept away by the music. And isn’t that the point of a great system? This is a great system.

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